The last day of this month marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Thesis to the door of the Catholic church in Wittenburg, Germany. This led to the Great Protestant Reformation and changed the face of Christendom forever. We’ll be sharing articles of information about Martin Luther and the Great Reformation during the next few weeks. Let this 500th anniversary be a reminder to all Christians to pause daily and give thanks for the salvation we have in Christ. Proclaimed by Paul, and affirmed by Martin Luther, and others throughout the ages, we are saved “by grace…through faith, and… it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8-9).
Martin Luther on Trial
Recently, my husband an I attended the theater performance of “Martin Luther on Trial.” Produced by the Fellowship for Performing Arts, the stage show brought to life a hypothetical situation in the afterlife. Set in a courtroom trial, the Great Accuser (Satan) is the evil prosecuting attorney and the Great Reformer, Martin Luther, is the defendant. With Luther’s wife, former nun Katie VanBora, as the impassioned defense attorney, the proceedings are overseen by Saint Peter as the judge. Many interesting witnesses are called to testify. Among them Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Rabbi Josel, Saint Paul, Martin Luther King Jr, and Pope Francis.,
The show moves on to Houston (October 19-29), Dallas (November 3-4), Minneapolis (November 11-12), and Tulsa (November 16-19).
If you live anywhere near one of those cities, I highly encourage you to attend the performance (more info: https://fpatheatre.com/production/martin-luther-on-trial/). The show was inspiring, thought-provoking, and certain to provide stimulating conversations.
If you are not able to attend a performance, I hope you enjoy these clips from “Martin Luther on Trial.”
Martin Luther on Trial – Trailer
Martin Luther at Confession
Martin Luther, Katie von Bora & Rabbi Josel
From Max McLean, artistic director, Fellowship for Performing Arts: “With the 500th anniversary of this moment approaching in 2017, we wanted to explore this Shakespearean-size personality on stage. Fellowship for Performing Arts’ mission is to present theatre from a Christian worldview that engages a diverse audience. To be true to our mission, we are committed to the notion that the world is not the way it ought to be, and that ‘we’ (individually) are part of the problem…
“Many depictions of Luther’s story deal with a troubled soul and conclude with the heroic ‘Here I Stand’ speech in 1521. Most choose not to look at the aggressive behavior of his later years. We care to look at both. We have, also, set the play in the ‘Afterlife’ to add a supernatural dimension to our story in the hope of sparking the imagination and inspiring dialogue toward renewal and reconciliation.”
The Great Reformation
Martin Luther’s “Here I Stand” Speech that launched the Protestant Reformation
Narrated by Max McLean
About Max McLean
Founder and artistic director of Fellowship for Performing Arts (FPA), Max McLean is a NY City-based producer of live theater from a Christian worldview. Max conceived, adapted, produced and starred in The Screwtape Letters, a play based on the book by Oxford scholar, author and fantasy writer C.S. Lewis. His stage adaptation of Lewis’ The Great Divorce launched its national tour in late 2013, and Max brings C.S. Lewis to life through his portrayal of him in The Most Reluctant Convert. Max's most recent production, Martin Luther on Trial, debuted in 2016. As the narrator of The Listener's Bible in three translations (NIV, ESV, and KJV) Max has received four Audie Award nominations from the Audio Publisher’s Association. For more information about Max McLean and FPA, visit Fellowship for Performing Arts. For locations of theatrical performances near you, click here.
The Vision of FPA
When asked in an interview, "How do you seek to bring glory to God through performance art?" Max McLean explained: "At the root of Christianity is the admission that this world is not what it ought to be, and at the heart of being a Christian is the confession that I am part of the problem. Our vision is to select literature from the Bible and the treasury of Christian history that helps us to see our predicament, and move us toward a more humble understanding of ourselves and a closer relationship with God. For the theater, our vision is to select stories that explore how and why consequential choices are made, and to produce those stories in a manner that engages diverse audiences." ¹
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray for the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken, sinful person from darkness to light.
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